NSSP Update – December 2020

NSSP Update

A Technical Newsletter for the NSSP Community of Practice | December 2020

The National Syndromic Surveillance Program issues NSSP Update monthly to share the latest Community of Practice activities, technical and program updates, and ways in which syndromic surveillance is improving public health.

Young woman with girl


Trends in U.S. Emergency Department Visits Related to Suspected or Confirmed Child Abuse and Neglect Among Children and Adolescents Aged <18 Years Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic—United States, January 2019–September 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the total number of emergency department visits related to child abuse and neglect decreased, but the percentage of such visits resulting in hospitalization increased, compared with 2019. Read more.

Young woman with girl


Mental Health-Related Emergency Department Visits Among Children Aged <18 Years During the COVID-19 Pandemic—United States, January 1–October 17, 2020

Monitoring indicators of children’s mental health, promoting coping and resilience, and expanding access to services to support children’s mental health are critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

Virtual Success!


Syndromic Surveillance Symposium—A Virtual Success!

The event included 31 sessions, with more than 75 moderators and presenters. Sessions included training, open-forum discussions, and presentations on pandemic response efforts and other innovative work being done by public health departments. Read more.

Technical Updates


How to do SQL Queries in RStudio Pro

Did you know that routine structured query language (SQL) queries can be done in RStudio Pro? This is a good alternative if you’ve been using the recently retired Adminer application. Follow these easy steps and code examples to query data. Read more.

View more articles at our Data Quality Corner.

Developing Syndrome Definitions

Developing Syndrome Definitions

NSSP staff collaborate to develop and improve syndrome definitions.

One new syndrome definition has been added to ESSENCE to support the COVID-19 response: Change in Taste or Smell v1. A factsheet will be added to the NSSP Community of Practice Knowledge Repository.

ESSENCE word cloud queries

Monthly National-level Free-text ESSENCE Queries

Analysts can exercise a high level of customization by using free-text queries. They can quickly code free-text queries and rapidly respond to outbreaks, disasters, and health events that unfold. These word clouds capture free-text queries from a national perspective.

NSSP participation map and coverage

NSSP Participation Map

NSSP is exploring how to better communicate the coverage provided by syndromic surveillance emergency department (ED) data. This map shows U.S. counties with emergency care facilities that participate in NSSP. Data will be published quarterly.

This will replace the measure based on the proportion of ED visits captured.

ESSENCE word cloud queries


Spring 2021 Software Enhancements Underway

We’re hard at work on 2021 enhancements to the Access & Management Center and Data Quality Dashboard. We’re also looking at ways to improve surveillance capabilities. Read more.

Mark Your Calendar
Upcoming Events
December 14 NSSP CoP Core Committee Call (Monthly); 1:00–2:30 PM ET
December 15
NSSP Community of Practice Call (Monthly); 3:00–4:30 PM ET
December 15 NSSP Vendor Patches in Testing and Development Environments;
12:00–8:00 AM ET
December 16 Syndrome Definition Subcommittee Call (Monthly); 1:00–2:00 PM ET
December 17 NSSP Vendor Patches in Onboarding and Production Environments;
12:00–8:00 AM ET
January 13 Race and Ethnicity Data Quality Improvement Workgroup; 3:00–4:00 PM ET
January 19 NSSP Community of Practice Call (Monthly); 3:00–4:30 PM ET

View more calendar details at the NSSP Community of Practice.